Half Day Old City Tour (Morning)
SAINT - SOPHIA CHURCH (Church Of The Holy Wisdom): Built in 537 by Byzantine Emperor Justinianus, St. Sophia has been the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years; it is considered the masterpiece of Byzantine architecture; after having been the Patriarchal basilica of Constantinople, it was covered into a mosque in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II. the Conqueror and into a museum by Ataturk in 1935. MOSQUE OF SULTANAHMET (Blue Mosque): Built in 1609, it is - with its 6 minarets facing Ayasofya- the last great imperial mosque of the classical period; its name comes from the 20.000 marvellous bue-toned Iznik tiles decorating the interior walls. TURKISH & ISLAMIC ARTS MUSEUM: Originally built in 1524 as the palace of Ibrahim Pasha- Grand Vizier and brother-in-law of Sultan Soliman the Magnificient, it is now a museum presenting notable examples of Islamic calligraphy, tiles, rugs as well as ethnographic displays of various cultures in Turkey, particularly nomad groups. HIPPODROME: It was a horse-racing track and also the sporting and social center of the Byzantine Empire; the German Fountain, the Obelisk of Emperor Theodosius and the bronze Serpentine Column are the monuments embellishing the Hippodrome. CAFERAGA MEDRESESI: Situated in a lovely, peaceful and quiet "medrese" (Ottoman theological school) built near Ayasofya during in 1559 by imperial architect Sinan, the "Caferaga Medresesi Turkish Handicrafts Center" hosts exhibition rooms highlighting traditional Turkish crafts such as calligraphy, ceramics, jewelry, marbling paper etc.